The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) conducted its 1st National Genomics Conference on October 10 to showcase its research programs and further encourage collaboration among Filipino scientists to beef up omics research in the country. The daylong event was also part of the Center’s year-long tenth anniversary celebration.

While news of giant clam poaching in the disputed Scarborough Shoal drew massive online outrage, it is far from the first wildlife exploitation story in our history. One serious challenge for local law enforcement in these cases has always been visually confirming the presence of our endemic species when specimens have been skinned, ground or similarly processed for the black market.

Luckily a team led by the UP Institute of Biology’s Ian Kendrich Fontanilla and the late Dean Perry Ong have locally pioneered a system called DNA barcoding, which utilizes the molecular fingerprint of genes to assist both scholarship and law enforcement in these tricky cases.

Genomics and next-generation sequencing are integral to precision medicine, where a patient’s genes determine drug therapy and dosage. Precision medicine is only one of the groundbreaking initiatives being done at the Shared Genomics Core Laboratory, which was inaugurated on February 20 at the Philippine Genome Center, UP Diliman.

Call for applications: International Workshop in ‘Omics in Infectious Diseases

UP’s Philippine Genome Center in partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) through the funding support of DOST’s Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), and British Council’s Newton Fund Program is once again organizing an international workshop on infectious diseases this time with focus in ‘Omics technology.

PGC inaugurates building

The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) inaugurated its building on September 11, nine years after the Center was established by the UP Board of Regents in July 2009. According to UP President Danilo Concepcion, the structure is just the first phase and the second building behind it is still being completed.

Diamondback moth (DBM) larvae grown on cabbage seedlings for insecticide resistance experiments. (Photo by Dr. Anita Bautista, UP-PGC)

More than a century ago, a scientist named A.L. Melander wrote an article in the Journal of Economic Entomology on a disturbing turn of events in his native Washington. The year was 1914, and then, as now, farmers and entomologists were locked in combat with pests like the San Jose scale—an insect similar to the cocolisap that would nearly overwhelm the Philippine coconut industry a hundred years later.

We definitely want more people to be involved in genomics and bioinformatics,” says Dr. Maria Anita Bautista, head of the Philippine Genome Center’s (PGC) Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Program, “because there are many scientists from state universities and col­leges who want to improve their research. These scientists thought that the PGC was only for UP, but it’s not just for UP. The Department of Science and Technology shelled out funds for it so that the PGC could serve the Filipino community.”

Locally-based and UK-based scientists and researchers will share research studies, best practices in understanding epidemiology of infectious diseases, and how advanced tools like Next Generation sequencing and bioinformatics can aid in the detection, prevention and control of the diseases. The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) of the University of the Philippines System in partnership with London […]

It could hold the key to unlocking cancer’s secrets, and the Philippines could soon help in shaping that key. Ten years ago, Francis Collins and Anna Barker, at that time from the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute, respectively, wrote an article for Scientific American celebrating the launch of a milestone […]